Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur District) of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings.
Khajuraho has the Vindhya range of mountains as its beautiful backdrop. This makes Khajuraho a particularly fascinating destination to visit.
Khajuraho's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world. These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures, the temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.
The temples of Khajuraho were built between 950 to 1050 A.D. during the Chandela dynasty of Central India (These rulers claimed descent from the moon, hence the name Chand-ela). After the decline of the Chandela dynasty in 13th century, the temples were left under the cover of dense date palm trees for many years, which gave the city of Khajuraho its name, Khajur in Hindi means a date. In the ancient times it was known as Vatsa.
In 1838, a British army engineer, Captain T.S. Burt rediscovered them. By that time only 22 of the original 85 temples had survived.
Khajuraho's climate is quite extreme, with wide variation in day and night temperatures along with minimal rainfall. Summers are hot at 45°C and winters are extremely pleasant at 27°C. Rainfall of 14 cms is observed annually. As summer is too hot, winter is a good time to visit Khajuraho. During month of March, the annual Dance Festival takes place. So from September to March is the best time to visit Khajuraho.
Though Hindi is spoken widely here, communicating in English should not be problem for the tourists. Dutch, French, German and some other foreign languages are also spoken by tourist guides and at the restaurants/hotels.
Khajuraho Airport (IATA: HJR) Tel:+91 7686 740-415 is located 5 km from the city, and is served by Air India (formerly Indian Airlines) offering flights from Delhi, Varanasi and Mumbai and Jet Airways offering flights from Delhi and Varanasi. If one is not prepared for a 5-6 hours bumpy ride from Jhansi to Khajuraho, then plane is the best mode.
A train station was finally opened in Khajuraho in 2008, linking it to Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) (175km) on the Delhi-Chennai/Bangalore/ Trivandrum mainline. NOTE: You can not buy train tickets at the Khajuraho train station! You must go to the BUS station, about 1km walk out of town, to buy train tickets (much cheaper than buying tickets through your hotel). Train tickets can also be booked online at  or  with credit cards/ Debit cards or Indian bank account at www.irctc.co.in
There are direct trains from New Delhi Station (Hazarat Nizamuddin Railway Station),Agra and Varanasi. Train departs from Delhi everyday except Wednesday at 20:15 and reaches 06:15 next morning at Khajuraho Railway Station.
Uttar Pradesh Sampark Kranti / Khajuraho Nizamuddin Express (Train number 22447) runs from Delhi Hazarat Nizamuddin to Khajuraho 6 days a week except Wednesday. If you have to go back towards New Delhi from Khajuraho then try to book this train's tickets as its very convenient to go from khajuraho by train than by bus. It departs from khajuraho (train no 22447) at 18.20 and reaches Delhi at 05.30 in the morning. For coming to khajuraho the train(train no 22447)departs from H. Nizamuddin at 20.15 hrs and reaches Khajuraho next day morning at 06.35 hrs.
The other options to reach Khajuraho is through Jhansi. It takes around 6 hours to reach Jhansi from Delhi by train, and another 3-4 hours (plus connecting time) to go to Khajuraho. Get the Dakshin Express from Delhi (22:50 hrs) and reach Jhansi by 05:00 hrs, connecting to the Jhansi-Khajuraho Link Passenger(Train No:51821) which now runs along with Jhansi-Allahabad Passenger(Train No:51821) starts from Jhansi at 7:10AM and reaches Khajuraho at 12:05PM. Another option is the Bhopal Shatabdi train from delhi (6.00) to Jhansi.Train from Khajuraho to Jhansi departs from Khajuraho at 12:25PM and will reach Jansi by 5:30PM. Both the trains have stoppage at Orcha.
An alternative station is Satna (Madhya Pradesh) (117km) on the Allahabad-Mumbai main line. Another option is Mahoba station on the Varanasi- Jhansi Route.Alight at Mahoba and catch the 11AM Passenger(Train No:229A) to Khajuraho.
The Western Temples group is about 5 km away from the railway station, in fact the airport is much closer to the temples than the railway station. There is no bus service from the railway station to the town at present and you will have to travel in a "Vikram"/ Diesel Auto, you can join a group of passengers for ₹10 or hire one for yourself which will cost between ₹100 - ₹150 one way.
Satna and Jhansi both are connected to Khajuraho by regular bus service. It takes around 3 hours to reach Khajuraho from Satna or Jhansi by taxi, and 5-6 hours by bus. There are daily bus services with Satna, Jhansi, Harpalpur, Chhatarpur, Mahoba, Sagar,Jabalpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Panna, Agra, Allahabad and Varanasi. From Jhansi railway station catch a rickshaw to Jhansi bus station which is 5 km away. It is very difficult to get a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi after 5PM. So try to reach Jhansi by afternoon if you want to catch a bus to Khajuraho from Jhansi. Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh (225km, 5hrs), Satna (117km, 4hrs), Harpalpur (94km), Jhansi (172km)and Mahoba (61km). Khajuraho is located 600km (11hrs journey) south-east of Delhi. There are bus services from Agra (12 hrs), Gwalior (9hrs) and Jhansi.
Taxis are recommended because the condition of buses and roads are not good, and the ride is grueling. If you are traveling by your own car and if you are novice driver, then the chances of meeting with an accident is significantly high.
Khajuraho is now well connected to rail link via Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra and New Delhi.
A good way to get around and see the temples as well as the village life in Kharujaho is by bicycle, which you can easily rent in the bike shops near main temple complex. They charge ₹20 per day.
Cycle rickshaw costs around ₹15 per km and ₹200 for entire day. Taxis to and from airport cost ₹150; however auto-rickshaws cost ₹50 for the same distance.
Khajuraho is one of the cities nicely connected by private and public buses. Private tour service operators can arrange Non Ac or deluxe Ac buses for passengers from the main bus stations within the city.
In every temple, there is the depiction of royalty, armies, wrestling, kinship, war, courtship, marriage, lovemaking, music and dancing, spiritual teachings, union, meditation, bliss, gods, goddesses, plants, animals and an abundance of all human forms.
Effective 1 August 2011, the Archaeological Survey of India introduced an official self-guided audio tour facility of international standards for visitors. The tour allows visitors to experience the Khajuraho Group of Monuments at their own pace, with authentic and factually accurate information. Visitors may avail of the audio guide facility from the official audio guide booth near the monument ticket counter. Prices for audio guide services are ₹100 (+ taxes) in English & Foreign Languages or ₹60 in Hindi & Indian Languages
Western Group of Temples
There is an entry fee of ₹10/- (for Indians) and USD $ 5 (for foreigners) to enter the Western Group of temples. (If you have a ticket from Taj Mahal, you can use it here again.) All the temples are open from sunrise to sunset. These are the richest and largest of all temple groups.
- Chaunsat Yogini. The only granite temple in the Khajuraho group.
- Chitragupta Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Chitragupta, the book keeper of the good and bad deeds.
- Devi Jagdamba Temple. Dedicated to the Goddess(devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho. The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures.
- Kandariya Mahadev Temple. This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
- Lakhmana Temple. The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with Lakshmi, Vishnus consort.
- Matanageswara Temple. A temple dedicated to Shiva, a huge 8ft Lingam adorns the temple.
Eastern Group of Temples
- Adinath Temple. Dedicated to Jain Tirthankar(God), Adinath, the temple is lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, including yakshis.
- Brahma Temple. Considered to be one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho made entirely in granite and sandstone, is dedicated to Vishnu.
- Ghantai Temple. This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a Jain goddess on a winged Garuda.
- Hanuman Temple.
- Javari Temple.
- Parsvanath Temple. Largest among the group, with exquisite carvings in detail. The sculptures on the northern outer wall are the highlights of this temple. The image was installed in 1860.
- Vamana Temple. It is the dwarf form of Lord Vishnu, located in a secluded place and is known for its simple architecture.
Southern Group of Temples
- Beejamandal Temple. It is a ruined temple, and is near the Chattarbhuj Temple.
- Chattarbhuj Temple ( The Jatkari Temple). Built in 1100 A.D., is well known for its architecture, and is also the only temple to be devoid of any erotic sculpture. 3 km away from the Eastern Group. Facing West, have to take 10 steps to reach the sanctum. The massive 9 feet intricately carved Vishnu idol in Chaturbhuja (four-armed).
- Dulhadev Temple. The last temple of Khajuraho, lies to the south of Ghantai temple. The temple enshrines a Shivalingam. The apsara and ornamented figures are the temple's most striking features.
- Khajuraho Dance Festival.
- Light and Sound Show at Western group of temples. After visiting the temple complex is over, the sound and light show, narrated by the Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan, is held every evening. Entry ticket ₹120/- for Indians and ₹300/- for foreigners.
- Arhanta Yoga International, Arihanta Yatri Niwas, ☎ 8120121002, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9am - 5pm. Hatha Yoga classes can be followed in a traditional ashram lifestyle.
- Some star hotels like Jas Raddison and Chandela offer use of their swimmining pool for ₹300 onwards, which is a popular activity during summers.
Places worth visit
- The Annual Dance Festival of Khajuraho. This festival happens from 1st Feb to 7th Feb. The same date goes for 2012 year also.
- Archaeology Museum. It is very small museum located exactly opposite to Shiv Sagar and nearby to Hotel Lakeside. The museum is a must place to visit as it features varied selection of unique carvings from area. The photography is strictly banned in the museum.
- Nandi Temple. It is grand hall of more than 20 square size pillars with spectacular circular ceiling. You can spend some peaceful time here as it is one of the less crowded spots in Khajuraho.
- RssVidyamandir school (Tinku free shool), near vamana temple (eastern group temples), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 10h-14h. Vidyamandir school is a place you can visit to see changes that can be made to improve the futur of children from the countryside of India where life is not always easy.Run by friendly director Tinku, he can show you around and would be more than happy if you could participate to one class(or many if you have a couple of days!)donations appreciated because the school is absolutely free for children. The kind of thing that really makes a difference. donation. donations appreciated.
- Iron, brass and stone sculptures depicting Kama Sutra poses are a specialty of Khajuraho and are available at the handicraft stores in the town.
- Crafts Emporium. Govt. authorized shop,deals in gold and silver ornaments, sand stone statues, and various other local handicraft which is located at Hotel Gem Palace, Jain Temple Road.
- Market - A weekly bazaar is held at Rajinagar (5km from Khajuraho) on Tuesdays. The market is a good place to pick up silver and brass ware.
- Agrawal Veg Restaurant. located beside Hotel Gem Palace on the Jain Temple road near the Western group of temples. It offers great quality vegetarian food, specially alu tamatar and boondi raita. Specially Jain cuisines are a delight there and the waiters are very friendly.
- Apsara, ☎ . Radisson Jass - Eclectic Cuisine
- Blue Sky restaurant. A rooftop dining area offering views over the Western group of temples - excellent Indian cuisine.
- lassi corner & universal paratha shop (same place) Jain Temples rd. in front to Bella Italia. The only place where you can get a sweet lassi for ₹15, aloo paratha for ₹15 (starting at) and milk coffee also for ₹15. Long menu, pancakes also available. Just a stand on the street.
- La Dolce Vita, Jain Temples Road, Town center. An Italian-theme restaurant, rooftop dining and good, hearty breakfasts.
- The Green view Restaurant. A very colorful and nice restaurant, red and green colour. The cook is one of the best in town, he will prepare you the most tastefully meal as the waiter will serve it with a smile. Most welcome to have breakfast,lunch and/or dinner. In front of the western groups of temples.
- Madhya Pradesh cuisine. The area offers a good opportunity to try some local MP delicacies. The region is famous for its desserts, which are mainly sweet though there is also a spicy variety called namkeen. Popular deserts are cashew burfi, jalebi, lavang lata, kusli, khurma, moong dal ka halwa (a pudding made from green lentils), sabudana ki khichadi and shikanji.
- Madras Coffee House Off Main Square, located across from Western group of temples. A restaurant specializing in Southern Indian cuisine
- Mediterranean Restaurant - a Greek delicacy café, Rooftop café serving western food and snacks.
- Paradise Restaurant. A small, but cozy restaurant offering delicious, and inexpensive meals. It is also very clean establishment with helpful and friendly staff. Try the breakfast specialty of mango pancakes.
- Punjab Restaurant. located across from the Western group of temples.
- Raja Cafe, opposite the Western termple group and next to the main square. Popular restaurant run by two Swiss sisters. Good Swiss food and breakfast for ₹70.
- Shivam restaurant, jain temple Rd (150 mtr from western group of temples), ☎ . 0800hrs to 2300hrs. Pure Vegetarian Food Only ₹50 per thali.
- Siddhartha Hotel Restaurant, Located across from the Western group of temples.
- La Terraza Off Main Square, the western group of temples
Bars & Pubs
- Bella Italia, Jain Temples Rd.
- Blue Sky Restaurant, Main Rd, Western Temples.
- Downing Street, Ramada Khajuraho, Airport Road, Chhatarpur District, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mediterraneo, Jain Temples Rd.
- Raja’s Cafe. Right opposite to temples, Raja’s café is a famous eatery started by a Swiss woman. One can choose to sit at grand tables under the shadow of tree in courtyard of café to get nice view of temples. At one side of courtyard, you can find a little souvenir shop. While at other corner, a board displaying government approved rate guide.
- Sura Sundari, Taj Chandela, Chattarpur, Chhatarpur District, ☎ . ,
- Temple Bar, JRadisson Hotel, By Pass Road, Chhatarpur District, ☎ .
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board Hotels
- Hotel Jhankar, ☎ , e-mail: , email@example.com. ₹1990.
- Hotel Payal, ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. ₹690-₹1990.
- Hotel Rahil, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Dormitory Beds ₹90, Single Room ₹490.
- Hotel Princess, Jain Temple rd., ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Despite the "thousand" price listed they ask ₹300 for a double room. New hotel with luxury bathrooms, TV, but no outside view. In the middle of Jain Temple rd. next to several restaurants and nice staff. WiFi only in the reception area. Very flexible checkout time.
- Golbro Tiger View Resort, ☎ . Near Petrol Pump, Tala, Bandhavgarh
- Hotel Bharat Lodge - owned by the popular Paradise Restaurant management.
- Hotel Casa Di William, ☎ .
- Hotel Gautama, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Address: opposite:-Shivsagar lake,Khajuraho - 471606(M.P.)INDIA, cell: 098 93409919
- Hotel Gem Palace, Jain Temple Rd, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Price ₹200-₹475.
- Hotel Greenwood, ☎ . Opposite Airport
- Hotel Jain, ☎ . Jain Temples Road
- Hotel Lakeside', opposite:- Shivsagar lake,Khajuraho - 471606, ☎ , e-mail: , email@example.com. Check-in: 10AM. A budget hotel and well cleaned. Breakfast is quite good, even it's not expensive. Location is suitable and near to the western group of temples. Breezy rooms are facing to the lake. ₹500 to ₹1400.
- Hotel Marble Palace - A Temple Side Hotel [www.hotelmarblepalace.com] Oppsite gole market. Telephone - +91 (7686)274353
- Hotel Royal Chandela - Tell: 09993747339 [firstname.lastname@example.org]
- Hotel Sunset View, ☎ .
- Hotel Surya, Jain Temple Rd, ☎ , , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Cheap, friendly and clean room, good value for the price (200 to 500 as april 2011) at least out of peak season. Nice garden but very expensive.This hotel is a mainstay of touts (commission boys). The touts always misguide tourists. Don't trust them. ₹200-₹500.
- Hotel Yogi Lodge - clean, Good food. Water cooled rooms are actually cool during summer. Address: opposite to the Western group of Temples Tel: +91 (7686)-274 158, 244 158 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Price ₹80-300
- Hotel Zen, ☎ . Jain Temples Road,owned by an Osho pupil.Hopeless Place and stronghold of cheaters.
- Holiday Inn, ☎ . Khajuraho, Price: Around $75
- Hotel Jass Oberoi, ☎ . Pass Road, 2Km from airport, Price: Around $95'
- Hotel Harmony, Khajuraho (located near the temples), ☎ . 40 rooms with air condition and non air condition. Roof top restaurant serving Chinese,Indian and continental dishes.
- Hotel Khajuraho Ashok, ☎ .
- Kairali Ayurvedic Health Spa. Opposite Khajuraho Airport, Tel: +91 (7686)-272 219 / 274 757
- Ken River Lodge, ☎ . Village: Madla, Near Panna National Park Price: Around $165 The Ken River Lodge remains closed from May to Oct. May be a good information.
- Hotel Clarks Khajuraho (1 Km from airport), ☎ , fax: . Around $70.
- Hotel Radisson, By Pass Rd, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Around $70.
- Hotel Taj Chandela, Chhatarpur, Khajuraho 471 606, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Around $100.
- The Lalit Temple View, opp. Circuit House, Khajuraho - 471606, ☎ , , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Around $160.
- Usha Bundela, Usha Bundela Temple Rd, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Around $90.
Always listen to the travel alerts and frequent warnings, as some areas in Khajuraho are considered extremely unsafe for foreign travelers.
Beware of the fake school teachers, principals and students who are too much interested in your dollars as donation, which hardly goes to the school itself. If you really want to donate someone, just check there authenticity or else your charity will go in vain.
Put a sticky note with your passport having local telephone number of your close family member or travel consultant.
For women, if traveling alone then try to get accommodate near other women travelers.
- Police: Tel: +91 (7686)-274 032 or 100 (from Any phone)
- Ambulance: 102 (from Any phone)
- Fire: 101 (from Any phone)
The dialing code for Khajuraho is 07686. When calling from overseas, dial +91 7686 XXXX XXXX. If you have a non-working phone number with only 5 digits then try using '2' as prefix.
- Airtel GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)
- BSNL-CellOne GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)
- Idea GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.(Tri-Band)
- Reliance Mobile CDMA
- Tata Indicom CDMA
Internet is available at most of the tourist locations, with around ₹25 per hour. The western group of temples has one of the highest density of internet cafes. Don't expect broadband speeds.
- Om Internet and travel agency - On the way to Yogi Lodge. Market square, in front western group of temples. It offers decent broadband speed, helpful and English speaker owner.
- Hotel Surya - also has Internet services as well as a Travel Agency where you can book your train/flight and other travel.
- India Post, Govt-run postal office is located near to the Bus Stand. Tel: +91 (7686)-274 022, Pincode/Post code - 471606.
Try not to give any money to children or beggars who swarm at all the major tourist spots as this will only encourage them to make their livelihood. They will try all the tricks of the trade to get money off you. Even a dollar or fifty cents given by the foreign tourists is big money here in MP.
Banks are better for changing foreign exchange. You won't get good rates at the airport or the hotels.
- Canara Bank (also gives advances on Visa & MasterCard), Opp. the Western group of temples. (less crowded and close to SBI) Tel: +91 (7686) -274 071
- Khajuraho Ashok. Tel: +91 (7686)-274 024
- State Bank of India (open until 6PM on Friday and 4PM on Saturday), Opp. the Western group of temples.Tel: +91 (7686) - 272 373, 274 083
Things to carry
A torch light/flash light and a Map.
- Ajaygarh Fort — Located 80 km away from Khajuraho, Ajaygarh Fort is at a height of 688 meters above sea level and once called as the capital of the Chandelas during their decline.
- Bandhavgarh National Park — The pristine environment, spectacular natural beauty and mesmerizing hilly regions make this place an ideal destination to visit in Madhya Pradesh.
- Benisagar Dam (10 km) — It is one of the ideal picnic spots in Madhya Pradesh which is surrounded by greenery and Khuddar river, passing through Khajuraho city.
- Gangau Dam and Sanctuary (34 km) — It is one of the spectacular picnic spot located at the confluence of Simiri and Ken rivers. Gangau Dam is surrounded by Gangu Sanctuary and Panna National Park. During winter season you can see diverse range of bird species visiting this place.
- Kalinjar Fort — It has got magnificent history and contains several temples and multiple structures within it. Similar to other forts, Kalinjar is built to defend the Kingdom.
- Ken Nature Trail — Around 22 km away, close to Raneh falls there is Ken Nature trail. It is a jungle track, a natural beauty and also imparts a knowledge of the surroundings.
- Majhgavan Diamond Mines (56 km) — It is only diamond producing mine in India which is under working state. Majhgavan Diamond Mines is administered by National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).
- Nachna — Located 40 km from Panna, It was a famous city of the Nagvakataka and Gupta empire.
- Orchha — It is one of the extremely rare destinations in India which integrates aesthetic legacy of history and natural beauty at one place.
- Pandav Falls — It is 35 km from Khajuraho and half a km from entry gate. Entry fee for vehicles is ₹200 but if you prefer to go on foot then only ₹15 will be charged.
- Panna National Park — This small park is famous for its high density of tigers which is rare to see in other wildlife parks in India.
- Raneh Falls (19 km)— Located more than 20 km from Khajuraho, Raneh falls is one of the rare natural waterfalls formed on Ken River.
- Ranguan Dam (25 km) — Located around 20 km from Khajuraho, Ranguan dam offers boating facilities for visitors. The dam is key source of irrigation in Panna.